Cannonball is the place to go stargazing. It's your own private, lakeside camp with fire. About a 1/2 mile hike in campsite from the parking area, NO CAR ACCESS. Access to trails, very quiet, you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset in a conveniently isolated situation. People park their cars at the reservoir parking area near the Workshop and walk up using the reservoir footpath up hill. Please note when packing for your visit you will be carrying your gear to your site, so pack light. There is a porta potty on the other side of the lake (about a 5 minute walk around the lake).
A NOTE ABOUT FIRES: Cannonball has a firepit, but sometimes during the summers the state bans fires for campers. We will keep you posted about the status of fires on the property when you book your reservation, but in the meantime since we would hate to take campfires out of the camping experience, we have started the #onefire campaign to keep campers happy with a fire at our communal cooking area at the lanai, where on Friday and Saturday nights there will be a fire for all to enjoy. During a fire ban, please do not start a fire up at cannonball camp's fire ring - guests who do so will be asked to leave without a refund.
This place is amazing. We're used to being on top of each other at state parks - here you get your own private lake, out in the middle of nowhere. The host is incredibly gracious and accommodating. She showed us all the stuff we could use and let us borrow her metal boat and a bunch of kayaks. We were happily surprised to find a shower, though we didn't end up using it.
It's more than I’ve ever paid for a campsite, but once we got there, I realized it was worth it.
It was beautiful. Having the lake to swim and float in and the little boat dock to yourself is just a different experience. So peaceful. I’ve told all my friends to go. Mackenzie, the owner, was super nice and helpful. She sent directions before, texted me, it all was very smooth and easy.
we had the best time at cannonball camp! the setting was gorgeous and very private, and the property owners were so welcoming and helpful
Cannonball camp is amazing, the campsite sits right on the water with access to an awesome dock perfect for cannonballs. The site had tons of space for our group and at night the stars were an incredible site. We will definitely be returning here for future camping trips with our group.
Great place to get away and camp alongside a reservoir. The campsite has a shade structure which was very much appreciated as it can get very sunny and hot. Next time we go, we would bring along our dinning tent that is screened in so that we can enjoy our meals without being the main course ourselves for mosquitoes.
The site can accommodate 3 medium sized tents with plenty of elbow room for all and the fire pit was quintessential for any camping experience so we were glad there was no fire ban in effect.
The reservoir felt like our private lake with just the occasional visitor coming to kayak and swim but our privacy was never encroached upon. Great kayaking and swimming to be had if you enjoy being in the water. There is a small floating "island" where you can sunbathe and watch the fish ~ they may take a nibble when you're in the water though its more shocking than painful.
The porta potty is a five minute walk from the campsite and it is about a 15-20 minute walk to the parking area. Be sure to bring trash bags with you as you will need to haul out all your rubbish including compost.
Essentials to bring: water, extra shade/sunscreen, insect repellant/screened structure, trash bags and biodegradable liquid dish soap.
Folks in Laytonville were friendly and there's even a chinese restaurant for nights when you feel like eating out! So glad there was a natural food store in town as well as a decent cafe creatively named Pour Girl.
Cannonball Camp is the BEST site in Mendocino Magic, and reminded us of some of the amazing spots we've encountered backcountry. Since the photos in the listing were taken, Mackenzie has added a canopy sunshade over the picnic table, which was a savior during the mid-80 degree days during our stay. As mentioned in the site's description, it is a half mile trek from the cars, so even though we were able to lug a large cooler up the trail (we were there for 3 nights), I would recommend packing with more of a backpacking mentality. It's also pack it in/pack it out for trash and recycling, and the water station is back near the parking area (mile round trip), so be sure to show up with a decent amount of water so you're not hoofing it back and forth all the time. There were three gallons of water waiting for us in a shaded area at the site, which was awesome since we'd only brought a 1 gallon jug.
The reservoir is the main feature of the campsite + Mendocino Magic. There are provided kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats, and I would encourage campers to come with their own pool-style floaties, as we were so jealous of the ones we saw, we ended up making a trip to town to get our own.
All in all, an amazing stay. We felt like we were miles away from anyone at night when the water was calm and as smooth as glass, and we would compete to see who could spot Mars popping up in the night sky first.
This place is the best! Your own private lakeside campsite. Other people use the lake during the day (fishing, boating, swimming, hiking), but you're the only one staying on the lake. There's a porta potty about 200 feet away, and a water spigot down the hill (about a steep 5 min. walk).
If you are looking for some magic in your life look no further than Cannonball Camp. Cannonball Camp ticks all the right boxes: amazing reservoir for swimming (kayaks, rafts and paddle boats were also available, easy hike from the parking lot, potable water (we still filtered it for drinking and cooking but it was not necessary), amazing sunsets and views of the sky. There were hiking trails, wild blackberries, wild flowers and plenty of privacy. We only saw a few other people during our stay and had a super relaxing visit. For those venturing from SF the campsite is only three turns and a few hours from the Golden Gate Bridge.
I debated whether to review the site at all. It's like discovering a new favorite restaurant or band. You want to sing its praises and hope the magic is not lost when other people discover what you already know.
Thanks to Hipcamp for introducing us to Cannonball Camp!